Saudi imports from UAE drop 33% in July after new trade rules

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DUBAI, Sept.22 (Reuters) – The value of Saudi imports from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in July fell 33% month-on-month, official data showed on Wednesday, after the kingdom imposed new rules in July on imports from other countries. Golf’s country.

Imports from neighboring United Arab Emirates fell to 3.1 billion riyals ($ 827 million) in July, from 4.6 billion riyals in June, according to data from the General Statistics Authority. On an annual basis, imports from the United Arab Emirates decreased by around 6%.

In July, Saudi Arabia changed its rules on imports from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to exclude goods made in free zones or using Israeli inputs from preferential tariff concessions, a decision seen as a challenge to the UAE’s status as a regional trade and business. hub. Read more

Despite being close allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates compete with each other to attract investors and businesses.

Electronic billboards in Dubai celebrated the friendship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia ahead of the Saudi National Day on Thursday, but the national interests of the two countries have increasingly diverged, including in their relations with Israel. and Turkey.

Saudi Arabia’s new trade rules exclude from the GCC tariff agreement goods made by companies with a workforce of less than 25% of the local population – a problem for a country like the Emirates Arab countries where the population is mainly made up of foreigners.

He also said that not all products made in the region’s free zones would be considered locally made – a blow to the UAE where free zones are a major engine of the economy.

The UAE’s monthly drop in the value of imports was by far the biggest drop this year, data from the statistical authority showed.

The United Arab Emirates jumped to third largest importing country in July after China and the United States, down from second in June.

“The data for July may have been particularly volatile in terms of creating the required documents … The coming months may provide a clearer indication of new Saudi regulations on exports from the United Arab Emirates,” said Monica Malik, economist. chief at the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

The value of Saudi Arabia’s overall exports jumped 79.6% from July 2020, when international trade was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The increase is mainly due to higher oil exports, which rose 112.1% year on year, the authority said.

($ 1 = 3.7504 riyals)

Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; additional reporting by Lisa Barrington Editing by Edmund Blair, Robert Birsel

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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